Sunday, September 14, 2008

Trouble with KDE and WiFi (bcm43xx)

I have finally gotten to install Kubuntu Alpha 5 on my laptop (desktop is next). I am having a problem installing the bcm43xx driver for my wireless card. If I go to the Hardware Drivers application in K > Applications > System > Hardware Drivers, I will click "Enable" and it says I need to reboot my computer. So I do. When I reboot, my wifi card still doesn't come on. I go back to the Hardware Drivers app, the enabled box isn't click, so I click it again, it informs me I am install the bcm43xx drivers, then tells me I need to reboot. I reboot, wifi card doesn't come on. So, I open the Hardware Drivers app and "enable" isn't checked...I think you know where this is going. It never actually enables the driver, just tells me to reboot.

Any ideas with this?

Also, What other options are there for a web browser? Do most KDE users use Firefox or Konqueror? Konqueror has some weird bugs with rendering (like right now on Blogger).


  1. Well, in my experience most KDE folk use Firefox. I am probably one of the few that doesn't...

    I do have FF installed but just in case I run into a site that doesn't work well in Konqueror. I don't know if it's available in Intrepid, but see if you can find webkit-kpart in the repos. It should solve most rendering issues if you tell Konqueror to use that instead of khtml.

    Or, if you want to try another browser, Aurora is a good light-weight browser.

  2. install the bcm43xx-fwcutter package and your wireless should work.

    konquerer sucks as a browser, just use firefox.

  3. Konqueror makes a nice ftp client. For browsing it plain sucks.

    Aurora or Arora how the fuck is called (2 different browsers ?) is neat.

    I never managed to upgrade any hardy installation successfully to Intrepid... how did you proceed with that? Using a cd i guess...

  4. @Red: There is no bcm43xx-fwcutter package, there is, however, b43-fwcutter. It says it is already installed.

    @Dread Knight: I installed from a CD.

  5. Meh, I've run into this crap so many times I forget what the exact solution is. I don't think I ever got jockey to work right.

    I think the old module was bcm43xx and the new one is just b43.

    Try dpkg-reconfigure b43-fwcutter, or running b43-fwcutter alone. There's some way to trigger a dialog where it asks if you want to fetch the firmware from the internet. If you can't find that, get the firmware some other way and load it manually.

  6. You need the b43-fwcutter package, which relies on the firmware package. The firmware package is not included in the CD (for the same reason as mp3 support isn't included). The easiest solution is to be connected to a wired internet connection, then try to enable the device, if that fails it isn't too difficult to take apart the deb package, and find where it needs to pull the firmware from (which is what I had to do last time).

  7. Here is a copy of the file from the b43-fwcutter deb. This should tell you where to pull down the firmware and how to install them. *Note, this is for Hardy, though it should work for intrepid*


    set -e

    dir=$(mktemp -d)
    cd "$dir"
    b43-fwcutter -w /lib/firmware wl_apsta-
    tar xfvj broadcom-wl-
    b43-fwcutter --unsupported -w /lib/firmware broadcom-wl-
    rm -rf "$dir"
    chmod o+rx /lib/firmware/b43 /lib/firmware/b43legacy

  8. Run the following on a wired connection - it should (re-)download the necessary firmware:


    Does `lsmod | grep ^b43` show the b43 driver loaded?

    Does `iwconfig wlan0` show information about the wireless card?

    Does `dmesg | grep b43` show anything like the following:

    [ 32.718437] b43-phy0: Broadcom 4311 WLAN found
    [ 38.862785] b43-phy0 debug: Loading firmware version 351.126 (2006-07-29 05:54:02)

  9. 'sudo dpkg-reconfigure b43-fwcutter' is the easiest way to make sure the firmware is setup properly.

    By the way if hardware drivers manager is not doing it automatically then you should probably talk with Martin Pitt about it.

    Also I remember reading somewhere that there was a new driver from broadcom which also includes the firmware. Not sure how well it works.

  10. Hi,

    I tried Alpha 5 with out any luck could you please help me.

    I am new to Ubuntu forums and also attempting to install Ubuntu 8.04 LTS.

    But facing lot of problems with it, the CD never installs after the initial steps like I select the "install Kubuntu ",
    later on the screen just blanks out and nothing happens for long time.The blinking of harddisk and CD LED's stop.

    I tried Intrepid (8.10) AMD 64 and PC X86 with same result, Please help.

    Please suggest me which Ubuntu version I should install if that is the problem.
    Here is my configuration of hardware

    Resolution : 1600 x 900
    Screen Size : 16.4"6
    XBRITE-ECO™ Technology : Yes

    Chipset : Mobile Intel® GM45 Express Chipset
    Interface : HDMI™17 and VGA out with Smart Display Sensor
    Processor : Mobile Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD with Intel® Clear Video Technology
    Total Available Graphics Memory: 1340MB (max.)10

    Hard Drive
    Capacity : 320GB2
    Interface : Serial ATA
    Speed : 5400rpm

    Camera : Built-in 1.3 megapixel MOTION EYE® camera and microphone
    Keyboard : QWERTY, 86 keys with 2.0mm stroke and 19.05mm pitch

    Installed : 4GB15 PC2-6400 (2GBx2)
    Maximum : 4GB15
    Speed : 800MHz
    Type : DDR2 SDRAM

    Bluetooth® Technology : Integrated Stereo A2DP Bluetooth® Technology16
    Ethernet Protocol : 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T
    Ethernet Speed : Fast Ethernet (RJ-45)
    Modem Type : Integrated V.92/V.90 Modem (RJ-11)
    Wireless LAN : Intel® WiFi Link 5100AGN (802.11a/b/g/n)3

    Optical Drive #1
    Blue ray Read, DVD and CD


    Operating System : Genuine Microsoft® Windows Vista® 64bit Home Premium with SP1


  11. just get ndiswrapper and install wireless drive( *.inf ) with it.